To learn who was the lucky winner of the draw related to Part 1 of this blog and some of the suggested names for the "Pink and Blue" GemLace, click here. And keep reading as there is also a Free ScarfLady draw item associated with Part 2!
And now as promised, Part 2 of Product Innovation - Research and Development Time at ScarfLady....
In addition to testing new colours for the original GemLace over the summer, I developed a new product to be introduced at Fall Shows. As I mentioned in Part 1 of the blog post, research and development plays a critical role in the innovation process and is an essential investment for businesses to keep relevant in their field. Not unlike when I worked in the technology field in my first career, the process of innovation I followed included
1. Identifying a need/opportunity
- there are women who love the lightweight and ease of travel of the original GemLace, but traditionally do not wear scarves
- there are women who love the impact and look of original GemLace, but work or their lifestyle is such that they can not wear an accessory that dangles
- Something new that can be combined for wear with the original GemLace!
2. Research materials
- important to leverage the same lightweight yarns included in the original GemLace
- consider the addition of adornments
- determine options for fastening (which is not a requirement for the original GemLace)
3. Prototype work and rework
- creation of many samples varying the colour, the number of different types of yarns included in each piece, types of fasteners, composition of fasteners and style of adornments
- based on results of prototypes, many changes in the design resulted such as the addition of an extender, and several changes in the fastener material composition and adornment styles
4. Limited Release
- creation of the "Canada 150" version (red, white and silver) for the July 1 celebration in Canada
- strong "sell-out" response to limited release provided positive feedback
- personal experience and feedback from initial customers resulted in additional minor design changes
5. Product Launch
- this is a large undertaking on its own and worthy of an entire blog discussion and post
- in summary, the new necklace version of the GemLace will be launched at the Fall and Christmas Handmade shows starting with the Etsy Made in Canada event in Waterloo in late September and Ball's Falls in Niagara on the Canadian Thanksgiving long weekend (Oct 6-9).
In closing, I would like to invite anyone to comment below on suggestions for naming my new product such that it works well and makes sense with the original GemLace (scarf version) from ScarfLady. Product positioning and naming are an important part of a Product Launch and I look forward to your valuable input. Consider the following...
- should this new product be an add-on type name highlighting that it can be worn with the original GemLace, or
- should the name highlight it as its own product to be worn on its own or
- should the name simply note it is the necklace version of the GemLace by ScarfLady vs the scarf version of the GemLace by ScarfLady (original version)
- suggestions for the name of the new product
And here are some early pictures of my latest innovation! I look forward to seeing your comments below.